Someone jokingly said on social media that December is the time to stuff yourself with chicken and every food you enjoy because January is coming when fasting will knock on your door.
Lowkey, that reminds me of Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s interpretation of 7 years of plenty and then 7 years of famine. Literally the feast before the fast.
But what if fasting is not merely denying ourselves food and other things we enjoy? What if there is more to it?
We spoke broadly with Mr Akin Showemimo aka Akin Show, on fasting, spiritual disciplines, and how to surge together as a family.
We know you’ll enjoy reading this and learning from the conversation.
Ready, set, read.
Can we meet you, sir?
I am Akin Showemimo, husband of Betty and father of TiJesunimi. I am a farmer and an entrepreneur in the agricultural industry. I work with connects in the church. They help to interpret God’s word through His church and meet the real needs and seasons of people’s lives.
One of my favorite things to do is play pool (snooker).
What are you fasting this Surge? Do you enjoy fasting?
(Laughs) I don’t think there is anyone who would tell you they enjoy fasting. I’m fasting Food and Call of Duty. I think instead I appreciate fasting.
You talked about appreciating fasting. What does fasting do for you as a Christian?
Surge for me means we’re starting the year by looking to God. By fasting, you are setting yourself apart for God and letting go of things your body wants or would ordinarily like to do. It is a period of getting to connect with God on a new level.
Are there specific study tools or resources you’ll be using to stay on track with Surge?
We are doing Surge as a congregation, and I don’t want to be an “isolated faster”. I want to be fasting with the church.
So I do the surge devotionals first, and I pray with it. Later, I can return to the Bible plan on the Youversion app I am trying to read with my family. But first, I will make sure that I am plugged in with what God is doing in his church.
I’m also looking forward to the Super Saturdays where we get to pray together as a congregation.
What are the best Christian practices for fasting right? Is there a wrong way to fast?
What I do know is that in fasting, there must be a letting go and a seeking. It’s not just enough to say I am not doing something. There must be things that I am doing at that time towards deliberately seeking God.
That can be listening to sermons, reading your Bible extra, or praying extra. It’s creating space so that you are deliberately reaching towards God.
When Destiny comes knocking is a good resource to listen to as we progress in this fast.
Before we move to bible study and other spiritual disciplines, is there any “strategy” you’ve used to surge before that you can share with us?
Last year, I tried doing a 12 pm, 3 pm and 6 pm fast. I fasted food till noon and then 3 pm the following day, and 6 pm the next day.
There was a particular day when it seemed as though I had a 24-hour fast cycle. I can’t remember how it was but I remember that it was a 24-hour fast that I didn’t budget for so I had to rearrange the timing again.
What does Bible study mean to you?
Bible study to me is reading the Bible. The highlight for me is realising that God’s words and the Bible can speak to us.
Can you remember some of the challenges you had with studying the Bible regularly when you just became a Christian?
At first, finding time to study the Bible was a challenge. I came to realize that if I was not actively planning and making an effort to read the Bible, I wouldn’t!
So I set up a plan for the Bible to be the first thing that I would open when I woke up and decided how I would read it.
Back then, I enjoyed reading the New Testament. But whenever I went to the Old Testament, books like Numbers and Ecclesiastes, I used to feel lost.
I think I even succeeded in reading the New Testament quite a couple of times before I could finish the Old Testament once.
Truthfully, with paper bibles, it wasn’t as easy as it is now. Thankfully, there are Bible plans on the Youversion app that can help you read the entire bible in a year. You can even read different versions for better understanding. So, it’s easier now.
How can families surge together?
I think it’s great for families to discuss how they would be fasting. Because as a family, there are things such as children, individual routines, and intimacy to consider. So, families have to talk about it and decide how they want to go about it.
For my family, there are preset times that we pray together.
What would you advise married couples or engaged folks to do as far as Surge is concerned?
In seeking God for the year as a family, surge is such a good time. You should come together as a family to pray over some things as you start the year.
For children, they might not understand why they are denied food. So, in what ways can we encourage them to join Surge?
I think we should explain the principle of fasting to kids and make it a mutual conversation. We should help them understand that we are praying to seek God’s favor as a family.
They might not have the capacity to fast food so we can teach them to fast off some TV shows we watch or maybe drinks that we take and join them in it. You should get kids involved in one way or the other.
But, let your kids choose what they are letting go of. And if they decide they want to fast food, encourage them.
Aside from studying the Bible and fasting, what other healthy Christian habits do you plan to engage in this year?
Volunteering is always a top priority on my list to make sure that I am a part of what God is doing and that I stay plugged into His church. I will be looking at where I can serve more in the church.
I’m also going to be looking at how I can inspire the faith of other people, like reaching out to more people or just even trying to be a sweet fragrance for Jesus everywhere I find myself.
I also want to put deliberate effort into evangelizing. This year, I’m also looking at sharing more.
I am currently writing my topics to share more, like preaching, but just within a community of believers and my friends with whom I will be able to share some of the lessons I have learned in life.
Do you have a plan to continue fasting as the year gets busier?
Most times, what happens is that if you don’t pre-set or put a structure into these things, the year just rolls on.
So, I hope that I will put in some routines. Fasting right now is 21 days. Some other times, at the beginning of the month, I would probably like to take some time out to seek God. That’s something I would like to do this year.
What advice would you give someone new to the Christian faith about the Surge fast?
I will say plug-in. If you look through the scriptures, you will see that men of faith like Moses, John, and Paul fasted, and had an encounter with God. Even our Lord Jesus fasted!
So, it’s something we must do. You could start small by breaking your fast at 12 pm or 3 pm. You can fast food which, is the loudest form of fast as it is something your body needs immediately. You can also fast for other things that you know you indulge in like social media or movies.
But, trust me, when you come out on the other side, you will be better because of it.
Fasting is saying, “God, I am deliberately reaching out to you, and I’m letting go of some of the things that I ordinarily engage in.”
I trust you’ve found this conversation enlightening and that fasting means more to you than a “Christian buzzword”. We would love to pray with you during this period, you can send your prayer requests here.
Written by Doyin Ajala and Iyanuoluwa Kizo.
Doyin and Iyanu volunteer with the Content Team at Sycamore Church.
(Blogposts are creative expressions generously provided for Sycamore Church. The ideas and thoughts do not necessarily represent the position of Sycamore Church)